Government of Saskatchewan Announces Updates to Greenhouse Gas Offset Program

On August 28, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a delay in the implementation of its greenhouse gas offset program to 2022.

Background

In December 2017, the Government of Saskatchewan released “Prairie Resilience”, an overarching climate change strategy designed to make Saskatchewan more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

One of the commitments made in “Prairie Resilience” was the development of a greenhouse gas emissions offset program. The program would issue offset credits for the sequestration or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The offset credits could then be sold to other organizations to account for their own greenhouse gas emissions.

In May 2019, the Government of Saskatchewan released an Offset Framework Discussion Paper to obtain feedback on the program development.

In August 2019, the Government of Saskatchewan released an Engagement Summary Report. The Government indicated that implementation of the offset program would begin in 2020 to ensure that offset credits were available for purchase in 2021.

Announcement

On August 28, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a delay in the implementation of the offset program to 2022. The Government cited extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the Government to postpone engagement. Further engagements are expected to occur after the fall 2020 provincial election.

Next Steps

In the meantime, the Government of Saskatchewan advises it continues to work to develop the program, including through the development of a credit registry and drafting three offset quantification protocols related to landfill gas capture and combustion, aerobic composting and enhanced oil recovery.

MLT Aikins LLP’s team of lawyers in our environmental and energy groups continue to closely monitor the Saskatchewan greenhouse gas offset program. For further information contact Jessica Buhler or Chad Eggerman.